A GSA Schedule contract is a government-wide contract that can be effective for five years or more. Businesses can take advantage of over $30 billion in sales just by being GSA-certified. Companies big or small can obtain a GSA Schedule contract as long as they accomplish its lengthy application process. Once you earn a GSA Schedule, you can begin marketing your products and services into the government marketplace.
Businesses leverage their GSA Schedule contracts to skip the contract negotiation and repetitive paperwork. GSA Schedules streamline the acquisition process through their pre-established pricing, delivery arrangements, terms, and conditions. In this way, both federal buyers and enterprises can benefit from GSA.
While companies that hold GSA Schedule contracts can generate sales from federal agencies, they can also utilize their reputation to build their network outside the government market. A business, no matter how small, automatically harnesses excellence if customers learn that it is GSA-certified.
GSA Schedules became the primary contracting vehicle of federal agencies throughout the years. It provides them with endless opportunities to procure products and services at a valuable price. As for businesses, they will become exclusive contractors of the federal government. They gain access to GSA services like eBuy, Advantage!, and eLibrary.
A majority of federal buyers are not convinced with your offerings unless you are on the GSA Schedule. Here are more of the advantages you can get just by holding a GSA Schedule contract:
Increased Contracting Opportunities
Typically, GSA Schedule contracts for five years. This timeframe gives you the ability to test the waters and find the strategies that work best for you. There are more than 19,000 GSA contractors in the database. Although this number might be overwhelming, it is essential to note that your actual competitors are significantly reduced in your area of expertise. There are 12 main GSA Schedules and over 30 subcategories, which divide a fraction of your competition.
Secondly, becoming part of GSA Schedules allows you to expand your network. Take advantage of your GSA Schedule contract to maintain a consistent relationship with your federal buyers. This expansion in your network can guarantee a stable profit on government contracts alone.
Streamlined Acquisition Process
The tedious GSA proposal’s main objective is to simplify the entire acquisition process once you are awarded a contract. A portion of the negotiation process ensures the prices are fair and reasonable, and the delivery arrangements are feasible.
GSA Contracting Officers also make sure that enterprises have the technical capabilities to address federal agencies’ growing demand. For this reason, they take your track record and expertise into consideration before deliberation. After all, the prolonged process allows federal buyers to buy from contractors to assure that your products adhere to GSA standards.
The General Services Administration (GSA) recognizes the importance of providing ample opportunities for small businesses. This opportunity contributes to the small, veteran, minority, women-owned businesses, and more importantly, our economy. Almost 80% of GSA contracting opportunities are received by small businesses.
Overall, a GSA Schedule contract can serve as a valuable asset to your company. You can always guarantee customers if you advertise your brand as GSA-certified. Apart from the competitive edge, the visibility to a whole new market allows you to venture on federal buyers.
How do I apply for a GSA Contract?
With all the benefits that the GSA offers, businesses have a lot of work ahead of them to get there. Registrations, paperwork, and crafting a promising proposal is where most of your time will be spent. It is a challenge that you need to overcome before earning profit from its market. Working with GSA Schedule consultants can ease the burden of getting your foot in the door. You can utilize their expertise to learn the ropes and prevent as many mistakes as possible. Otherwise, all your effort can go in vain when you end up rejected.
To give you an idea of the steps that you need to take, here are the steps to apply for a GSA contract:
- Prepare all the requirements and submit your proposal.
- Make sure to be readily available to clarify aspects of your GSA proposal after they finished reviewing it.
- Negotiate several terms of your GSA Schedule contract until both parties are in agreement.
- Amend the changes on your GSA contract and submit the final revisions.
You can expect to work closely with your GSA Contracting officer when your contract is approved. They will be the ones to settle your pricing and acquisition arrangements with you. The goal is to come up with terms that benefit both the federal agencies and their contractors.
Steps for getting a GSA Schedule?
Businesses can take advantage of their GSA Schedules to tap into the federal government market. Simply put, it gives them contracting opportunities to generate sales from federal buyers. More importantly, enterprises big and small can establish a consistent relationship with their customers for several years to come.
Here are the steps to obtain a GSA Schedule suitable for your business:
- Register your company in the System for Award Management (SAM) database
- Determine the GSA Schedule that matches what you offer and obtains the Special Item Numbers (SINs) corresponding to your Schedule. There are 12 main categories and 30 subgroups that define the GSA Schedule segments. This system categorizes the products and services offered within the GSA realm under SINs. Businesses must pick the appropriate SIN based on their specialization. In this way, federal agencies can quickly locate you across GSA platforms.
- Obtain a copy of the GSA MAS Solicitation that corresponds to your GSA Schedules. With approximately 30 Schedules to choose from, there are specific policies attached to each of them. It allows you to connect with customers easily and determines the solicitation accordingly. The GSA MAS solicitation helps you choose all the crucial components that you should include in your proposal.
- Get your Digital Certificate (This is not a requirement for VA Schedule submissions)
The General Services Administration (GSA) is the federal government’s primary source to procure products and services. It aims to streamline the acquisition and negotiation process by simplifying the procedures. During the application process, GSA already settles your pricing, delivery arrangements, and other terms.
GSA is not your only route to success. However, it provides you with endless contracting opportunities across multiple government departments. It also prepares small businesses by giving them a considerable advantage to advertise to federal agency buyers.